Lights, Action

by Oneira


“Alright, move it!” Frank bellowed, his taskmaster’s voice booming over the din of the busy set. “I want those lights in position! Tim! You working up there or just looking pretty? Get to work!”

Tim nodded in automatic agreement, eyes never leaving the confused tangle of cables at the back of the floodlight he was working on. “Nearly done!” he called back, glad of his height as he strained upwards on his ladder, probing deeper. A spark buzzed warningly under his fingertips and he adjusted his grip by slow, careful increments, not particularly keen on the idea of burning the place down on his first day on the job.

The ladder wobbled with sudden impact of something heavy onto the top step and Tim grit his teeth, fighting to keep his balance while up to his wrists in wiring. He’d hardly caught his breath when a solid mass pressed up against his back and a calloused, long-fingered hand wrapped itself leisurely around his neck.

Tim froze.

A breath of laughter puffed against his cheek. “Ninjaed,” an amused voice murmured and Tim was left reeling both figuratively and literally when whoever it was vanished just as quickly as they’d come, sending the ladder to rocking again. Tim regained his equilibrium in time to catch sight of a dark-haired young man sauntering off towards the main set, the relaxed set of his shoulders making it clear that he hadn’t a care in the world.

“Um…?” Tim asked, now thoroughly bemused, and got a peppering of not unkind laughter from the other lighting techs in response.

“That’s Martin,” a man who’d introduced himself as Bill told him, his amused grin looking little more than a deep breath away from turning into a full-bellied guffaw. “He’s one of the stuntmen.”

“Don’t worry,” someone else whose coveralls proclaimed him to be ‘Steve’ added. “He does stuff like that all the time.” He waved a careless hand. “You’ll get used to it.”

“Oh,” Tim said absently, watching this Martin skirt past the coarse rigging the set dressers were wrestling into place on his way towards the hallway that led to the dressing rooms.

“What’s the hold up with that light?” Frank’s furrowed brow stormed into Tim’s peripheral vision. “Hurry the hell up!”

“Sorry!” Tim dragged his attention back to the task at hand, trying to ignore the prickle of interest tugging at the back of his brain. He had more than enough to do without getting distracted by the memory of long fingers and warm skin, unfortunately.

It hadn’t taken Tim long to learn that being part of the crew for school plays and the occasional commercial was very little like being hired as a lighting technician for the pilot season of a new, decently well-budgeted television series like High Seas.

The first thing he noticed was that there were always five more things to do than they had hands for, whether it was placing lights, running extensions or fixing shortages. Which, aside from the scale of the operation, was not so unusual in the grand scheme of things, but the fact that they were responsible for all the lights for the sound stage, not the just ones used in filming, added approximately three million yards of cabling and considerably more maintenance work than he’d really been expecting. Thankfully Frank, the Chief Lightning Technician, had obviously been much better informed, since he kept them running like a cross between a well-oiled machine and a particularly harried army regiment to keep on top of it all.

New to the crew as he was, Tim wasn’t surprised to find himself saddled with mostly grunt work for the first couple of days; hauling equipment, hoisting lights, fetching coffee. It was good, steady work for the most part – well, except for the coffee – so Tim didn’t really mind all that much. He’d get to deal with more complicated tasks as the shoot progressed, after all, and it was never a bad idea to prove he was willing to work hard.

Tim didn’t see much of Martin to begin with, too busy focusing on being useful instead of underfoot to pay much attention to the actual filming. The tickle of curiosity was there though, even though he wasn’t particularly enamoured of the whole ‘look at all the famous people’ thing, and he’d have been lying if he’d said he didn’t want to see Martin in front of a camera, if he was that sneaky in real life.

It was the third day of shooting when he finally got his wish. Tim was under a table taping down a loose connection when they filmed the first ship-board fight scene, and the resounding clang of metal on metal soon set his ears to ringing. Pirate extras and sailor extras shouted invectives as they rushed back and forth across the freshly built decking in not-quite time with the sword swinging, and Tim just hoped it looked rather more organized than it sounded.

“A–nd cut!” the director called as Tim crawled out from under the table with sweat clinging to his neck and his hair sticking out like straw. Tim climbed to his feet as the director puttered about the set, dusting off the seat of his jeans and sliding the roll of duct tape he’d been using over one wrist to keep it from getting lost.

“You ready, Martin?” someone asked loudly and Tim glanced up, surprised when the person he’d thought was the lead actor nodded in agreement.

“Of course,” Martin said, looking considerably different in a light wig and full costume than he had the last time Tim had seen him. There was no denying the smug amusement in his grin as he hoisted his sword though, and that, more than anything, told Tim it was really him.

A quick glance found no one bearing down on him with another job, so Tim followed his impulse to wander closer, finding an out of the way spot to stand and watch.

The cameras rolled and the pirate actor herded Martin up against the railing in a convincing display of bloodthirsty swordplay. The pirate lunged, sword sweeping in for the kill, but Martin was already gone, body twisting upwards and away almost too fast to follow. Tim arched an eyebrow, impressed, when Martin caught himself one-handed and upside-down on the railing, his back ramrod straight. Martin threw off an insolent salute with his free hand then pushed off, vaulting himself over the side of the ship into the empty space beyond.

“Cut!” the director roared as Martin’s feet hit the safety mat below. “All right, that one’s a wrap! Extras on set for the launch scene!”

The set was immediately overrun with a flurry of chaos as actors and camera people and makeup artists mobbed the open space. Martin didn’t seem to notice, navigating smoothly out of the crowd and heading for his seat. He passed within a handbreadth of Tim’s quiet-ish corner and paused, a smile flicking across his face as he caught Tim’s gaze. “Hi,” he said. His eyes, Tim noticed, were green, like chips of frozen jade.

“Look alive people!” Frank hollered from somewhere behind him, joining in the cacophony, and Tim whirled immediately before he checked himself, hunching a sheepish shoulder Martin’s way.


Martin just chuckled, speculative and indulgent, before continuing past him, one hand lifting in a casual dismissal. Tim tried with a considerable lack of success not to watch him go.

The next time he saw Martin, Tim had absolutely nothing to do with it.

“Well,” Martin’s voice murmured, as low as the lights in the storeroom, and Tim found himself abruptly trapped between a very large set of metal shelves and Martin. “Ninjaed again.” A sigh that was almost equal parts chuckle slipped into the relative silence between them. “You’re not very good at this game are you?”

Tim shrugged as best as he could. “My hands are full.”

Martin’s breath stirred the hair at Tim’s nape as he tilted his head to peer up at the heavy toolbox Tim had been wrestling onto the shelf. “Why so there are. Here, let me.” Martin leapt and Tim did his best not to fall over when Martin’s legs landed on his shoulders, Martin wiggling around until he was knelt, knees spread, across Tim’s shoulder blades.

“You’re stronger than you look,” Martin noted idly, hands lifting to push the toolbox neatly onto the shelf. “There we go.”

Tim lowered his own arms, being careful not to throw off Martin’s balance. “Thanks.”

Martin laughed. “You’re a pretty laid back kind of guy, aren’t you?” He dismounted fluidly and backed off, giving Tim enough room to turn and meet his easy grin.

Martin’s arm swung forward. “Martin,” Martin said and Tim nodded. He knew that.

“Tim,” he answered in kind, taking the offered hand.

Martin’s grin widened. “I think I’m going to like you,” he decided. He reclaimed his hand and threw off a jaunty wave as he turned, heading for the door. “Later, ninja bait.”

“Yeah,” Tim answered automatically, not entirely certain what was going on but generally sure it was a good thing. “See you tomorrow.”

“No you won’t,” Martin corrected, sounding terribly pleased with himself. “I’ll see you though.”

By the time the weekend rolled around, Tim had come to the conclusion that he was never going to get used to Martin.

Most of the crews kept pretty much to themselves on set; Tim knew all the light techs by name and figured he was doing pretty well to know a few of the other crew members by sight. As far as he could tell it was the same with the other crews, with one notable exception: Martin. Everyone knew Martin. It wasn’t hard to figure out why; whenever Martin wasn’t on set he was wandering around the hangar, joking with the extras, bothering the techs and scaring the holy hell out of most everyone he met.

It wasn’t long before Tim got to see one of Martin’s infamous ninja attacks inflicted on someone who wasn’t him. All but silent on his feet and athletic enough to put most gymnasts to shame, Martin nearly made one of the set dressers fall off the mainmast when he materialized out of the billow of sailcloth she’d been adjusting. Which got him yelled at for endangering the crew, but either Martin wasn’t particularly put off by the warning or the people in charge weren’t as worried about his behaviour as they claimed to be, since people still yelped and jumped at his antics at decently regular intervals over the days.

Martin was impressively even-handed about the whole situation, never going far enough to cause any damage to any of the people or pieces of equipment that got caught by his strange sense of humour. He faced every insult and threat with an easy equanimity, choosing his targets apparently at random and encouraging everyone to join in the fun rather than take it personally.

Which made it all the more obvious that Tim had somehow become Martin’s new favourite target.

After the twelfth time Martin caught him Tim pretty much stopped counting, figuring that as long as he didn’t break anything in the process it wasn’t doing anybody any harm. His fellow techs weren’t quite so convinced, particularly since Martin seemed to have a talent for ninja-ing Tim whenever he was moving very expensive equipment or working with live currents or doing something else equally liable to make a very big mess if Martin ever succeeded in making Tim jump.

“Damn,” Bill said after one such attack that left Tim holding tight to the cable he’d been in the process of tying off before Martin had ambushed him. “I would have dropped that light for sure if that’d been me.”

Tim shrugged, releasing the cable once he was sure the knot was going to hold. “It was only Martin.”

“Well, yeah, but…”

“He’s just trying to get a rise out of you,” Mark interjected, walking past at one end of a massive floor lamp. “Wants to see you freak out.”

“Or at least raise your voice,” Steve agreed, grinning at him over the top of the lamp. “Kid probably isn’t used to someone who won’t yell at him for goofing around.”

“He’s going to have to try a lot harder than that,” Tim told them.

Bill grinned wickedly. “Tough guy, huh? Well better you’n me, Timmy boy!”

Tim rolled his eyes. “Gee, thanks.”

“Aw, don’t be like that! Tell you what – you keep him entertained for the rest of the shoot without anything exploding and I’ll buy you a drink at the end-of-shoot party.”

“Just make sure Martin doesn’t find out,” Mike advised over one shoulder. “He’s likely to take that as a challenge.”

Tim suspected it was rather too late for that but he nodded anyway. “Okay. Thanks.”

As it turned out, Tim proved himself right that very afternoon.

He was in the kitchenette when it happened, armed with a stack of fresh paper cups as he waited for the coffee maker to finish gurgling at him. The sounds of filming were all but nonexistent in here – distance and moderately sturdy walls working to reduce the constant din to a muffled burble of unintelligible sound – and Tim leaned back against the countertop, enjoying the brief moment of stillness.

Which, predictably, was about when a pair of arms dropped around his shoulders, sudden and heavy.

“Hell-ooo,” Martin drawled, sitting on the counter practically on top of Tim’s elbow. He definitely hadn’t been there a moment before.

Tim tilted his head up and back, peering up at Martin. “Hi. I didn’t know those ceiling tiles were removable.”

There was a heartbeat of startled silence and then Martin was laughing in genuine delight, slumping onto Tim’s shoulders in a warm, friendly press of strength and corded muscle.

“You’re something else,” Martin declared, which Tim thought was patently untrue, but since Martin was probably insane it didn’t seem fair to correct him.

Sliding until he was sat behind Tim on the counter, Martin let his legs fall to either side of Tim’s waist, eyes crinkling as he grinned at him. “That one makes everybody jump,” Martin confided.

“Sorry,” Tim offered, not quite contrite. “Did you want to try it again?”

Something secretive shaded into Martin’s smile. “That’s okay. I’ll live.” He leaned in closer, dark hair blocking out the light. “But it seems like I ought to get some sort of compensation for letting you go every time – ninjas don’t usually give their victims second chances you know.”

“Okay, but I-” Tim started, words cutting off abruptly as Martin’s mouth slanted warm and hungry across his, deliberate and distracting. Tim hummed, a startled sound that was in no way a protest, and responded to the insistent press of fingers against his chin by tipping his head further back and kissing back. Martin’s mouth lifted briefly into a smile, satisfaction etched into the stroke of his fingers across Tim’s skin, then his tongue was pressing insistently for entry and Tim gave it to him without a second thought.

The kiss was deep and unhurried, a languid brush of lips and tongue that send shudder slow sparks skittering down Tim’s spine. Tim’s neck canted uncomfortably as he twisted, trying to get more of Martin’s taste. A moan rumbled low in his throat and Martin chuckled, pleased, hungry and amused all at once.

“Mm,” Martin purred, breath coming short as he drew upwards and away, gripping Tim’s chin to keep him from following after. “Clearly I shouldn’t have gone so easy on you. This makes things so much more fun. Oh,” he said then. “Looks like the coffee’s done.” Martin sat back, snagging the stack of cups from Tim’s slack fingers as he slid nimbly off the counter. “Come on, I’ll help.”

“Erm, okay?” Tim gave his head a hard shake, heart pounding double time. “Thanks.”

“Don’t mention it.” White lace fluttered as Martin held out the cups for Tim to pour and Tim blinked – he hadn’t even noticed that Martin was in costume.

“How are you finding the job so far?” Martin asked as they worked.

“Good.” Tim reached for the box of sweeteners, trying to remember how many he needed. “There’s a lot to learn, but I’m enjoying it.”

Martin’s eyebrow arched in what Tim was coming to recognize as an alternate version of his grin. “Even when you’re doing coffee runs a dozen times a day?” he asked, rooting around in the fridge for the milk.

“Someone has to do it.” Tim shrugged. “I don’t mind. Besides, the techs get scary without coffee. ”

“Hmm. This your first time working a TV show?”

Tim nodded absently, pulling out some cardboard trays from the cupboard. “I’ve been a best boy before, but on smaller projects. Hopefully Frank’ll decide to keep me on his crew.”

“Well,” Martin said, filling one tray and leaving the other two to Tim. “Looks to me like you’re a pretty hard worker.” His grin flashed impishly. “And I think everyone’s happier that I’ve got you around to bother instead of making other people break stuff.”

“You don’t do that.” Tim waited for Martin to open the door, heat seeping into his fingers from the coffee cups. “You only ninja people if they’re not doing anything important.”

Was it his imagination, or did Martin look surprised he’d noticed that?

Martin’s mouth crooked. “Well, except you.”

Tim shrugged. “That’s why you like ninja-ing me, isn’t it? You don’t have to worry about me falling off a ladder or dropping something expensive or anything.”

Which made Martin’s grin warm for absolutely no reason Tim could identify. “No, I guess I don’t,” he said and Tim abruptly found himself juggling three trays instead of two, the echo of Martin’s laughter and the bang of the door the only signs that he’d ever been there at all.

That was the start of a whirlwind romance that filled Tim’s days with ninja attacks, friendly conversation and lots of making out. And all right, so maybe there wasn’t much romance to be found in getting molested in every dark corner or empty room he walked into, but Tim wasn’t really about to complain. Not when Martin was so good at it.

“Ah,” Tim breathed, voice hitching as Martin sucked hard at the juncture of his neck. Tim dug his fingers into the fabric of his jeans to resist the temptation to pull Martin closer, his hips hitching helplessly into the firm press of Martin’s hand against his cloth-covered erection. “Wait, Martin…”

“Mm?” Martin murmured, grazing his teeth across the mark he’d left on Tim’s neck and sending lightning-bright sparks off behind his eyes. “Wassat Tim?”

“Not… not now,” Tim managed, shuddering dangerously close to the edge. Martin ground the heel of his palm down and Tim’s head lolled against the wall with a shivery sigh. “I, haah, have to get back to work.”

“Too late,” Martin denied cheerfully. The brush of his teeth turned into a bite and Tim lost it right there, orgasm rocking through him like a gunshot and leaving him slumped and twitching in Martin’s hold for a long, breathless minute.

Martin hummed appreciatively, tilting his head up for a kiss. “You do look pretty like that.” His hands shifted, easily navigating the zip of Tim’s jeans to see to the mess Tim had just made of his boxers.

“Do not,” Tim protested, torn between cringing and purring at the careful swipe of the cloth across his oversensitive cock. He made a face. “These were clean pants.”

“Bad planning on your part.” Martin zipped him back up, one hand curling possessively around Tim’s hip. He leaned in with a dangerous smile. “You know how much I like making you messy.”

Tim resisted the urge to pull him in for another kiss. “Later?” he asked instead.

Martin sighed dramatically. “Spoilsport.”

His hands dropped and Tim tried not to let on how much he missed that touch. Martin’s smug expression suggested that Tim hadn’t been particularly successful on that score.

Martin blew him a kiss. “Till later then, ninja bait.”

Rolling his eyes at the endearment, Tim didn’t bother watching Martin go. He tugged his collar back into place and found the backup generator he’d come in for in the first place, then headed back to the main set.

“There you are!” Beth exclaimed as he returned. “What took you so long?”

“Sorry,” Tim said, grunting slightly as he hoisted the generator into place. “Got ninjaed.”

“Again?” Beth demanded at the same time as Bill laughed.

“You got ‘target’ written across your chest or something that we don’t know about, Timmy boy?” Bill joked. “You’re earning that beer and then some.”


“Tim,” a voice said then, and Tim turned to find Frank standing just behind them, his face impassive. The rest of the techs turned immediately back to their work and Frank crooked a finger at him. “A word, if you don’t mind.”

“Sure. Of course.” Tim followed Frank back towards the nest of circuit boards, control panels and humming generators that was the unofficial centre of operations for lighting. Frank sent the two people working there off on a five-minute break and Tim began to feel the faintest stirrings of unease.

“Um…?” he asked.

Frank gave him a long, hard look. “Look Tim,” he said abruptly. “You’re a good kid and a hard worker so I’m going to give you one warning. It’s none of my business what you and Martin get up to on your own time, but I’d better as hell not see you dicking around on the clock again or you’re going to be out on your ass faster than you can say shit.”

“Sir, I-” Tim started, and then had no idea how to continue. He hung his head. “I’m sorry.”

Frank sighed, an explosive exhale of sound. “You’re young yet,” he said, as close to merciful as Tim figured he was going to get. “Just watch it, y’hear? Don’t give me a reason to can you after I’ve decided to keep you on the crew.”

Keep him on the…?

“No sir,” Tim answered immediately, only the knowledge that it would probably be bad form to grin like a fool keeping his expression neutral. He tried out a jerky little bow. “Thank you very much.”

Frank swore under his breath. “Go do something productive,” he ordered. “And fix your collar for god’s sakes!” he shouted over one shoulder as he stumped off. “You looked like you’ve been mauled by a fucking vampire.”

Tim could feel a dull flush creeping up his cheeks. “Yes sir,” he mumbled, hand stealing up to the mark on his neck as he tried to figure out what had just happened.

Booted feet hit the floor behind him and Tim wasn’t in the least surprised to find Martin lingering at his elbow when he turned.

“You heard all that?” he asked, not really a question.

Martin nodded. “Sorry,” he said unexpectedly, as uncomfortable as Tim had ever seen him. “Didn’t mean to get you in trouble. I’ll stick to regular ninja attacks on shift from now on.”

“Okay,” Tim said, firmly squashing down the part of him that was disappointed by that promise. “Thanks.”

“But on the other hand it might make this more exciting.” Martin grinned in an entirely disconcerting fashion and reached for Tim’s hand, peeling back fingers that Tim belatedly realized were clenched into an fist. “Don’t lose it – I’m too lazy to draw another one.”

Tim glanced at the piece of paper Martin had just given him. “It’s a map.”

“Sure is. We’re on location tomorrow, right?” Martin tapped the paper. “Well, meet me here at lunch break.”

Tim glanced at the map, which boasted a rather squiggly approximation of a red arrow leading away from the part of the beach they’d be filming on. He hesitated, wondering how to respond.

“I’ll make sure we’re not late back,” Martin told him, reading the wariness Tim could feel stamped on his face. “And I promise I’ll be on my best behaviour while we’re on shift.”

“Not much of an improvement,” Tim remarked blandly, smiling despite himself when Martin stuck his tongue out at him. “I’ll be there,” he promised before he could think better of it.

Martin’s hungry grin made something in his chest clench in anticipation. “Good. I’ll be waiting,” Martin purred, as if Tim had had any doubt. Which only left him with one problem.

Tim sighed. “I hate trying to work with a boner.” Tomorrow afternoon couldn’t come fast enough.

Luckily for Tim’s continued sanity, the novelty of filming on location kept him busy enough to stave off the impatience gnawing at his brain whenever he thought of the map tucked safely in his pocket.

It was a bright, almost painfully sunny day, and Tim was glad both for the smooth breeze off the sea and his slightly ridiculous High Seas baseball cap that kept the worst of the heat at bay. Lighting in the great outdoors was considerably different from lighting inside a building and Tim found himself in the strange situation of having both more and less to do than usual; they needed fewer lights to brighten each shot, but spent a lot longer switching out the colour gels to get rid of the distinctly yellow cast to the light. Tim was very definitely not complaining though, not after an unexpected shortage of hands the previous afternoon had left him holding a boom mike for nearly an hour. His shoulders still ached from the strain of holding the thing up for so long and Tim knew he’d rather sweat over lights all day than be stuck working in sound. At least the lighting work was fun, in a hot, irritable sort of way.

While Tim was sweating under the sun, Martin spent most of the morning beneath the awning that had been set up for the cast, foregoing his usual ninja antics in favour of a tall glass of something vaguely blue-ish and a dog-eared paperback. Tim decided to be glad of it – he couldn’t afford to convince himself to try and convince Martin to distract him.

“Hey there, kiddo,” Beth called to Tim as they halted for lunch. She clapped a friendly hand on his shoulder, grinning easily. “Having fun yet?”

“Tons,” Tim muttered back, though he didn’t sound particularly put out even to himself.

Beth gave him a mocking shake. “You know you love it. You joining us for lunch?” She jerked her head towards where a handful of the light techs were arguing good-naturedly over who was going to drive. “We’re heading into town to grab a bite.”

A quick glance towards the awning revealed that Martin had slipped away while Tim wasn’t watching. Tim rubbed sheepishly at the back of his head. “I’ve uh, already got plans.”

“Ah,” said Beth, a knowing gleam in her eyes. “Well in that case, be sure to tell Martin we’ve been missing his ninja attacks today.” She gave Tim another friendly pat before heading off to join the other techs. Tim shook his head, fondly exasperated, before pulling the map out of his pocket and striking out boldly in the direction of the red squiggle.

Martin’s map steered Tim further up the beach, the easy roll of the sea keeping him company as he left the film set behind. The crest of the grassy dune arched away from the beach as he walked, looming higher and higher until Tim would have been walking in shade if the sun hadn’t been so high overhead. Yet the arrow kept pointing so Tim trudged on, sand oozing into his sneakers.

The map eventually led him to a secluded section of beach where Tim found a blanket the size of his bed at home, with a picnic basket sitting in the sand beside it.

“About time you showed up,” Martin’s voice declared from the high bluff behind him and Tim turned immediately, arms up and ready to catch when Martin leaped at him. Martin’s weight hit him full in the chest, bearing them both to the ground in a flurry of flailing limbs and Martin’s easy laughter.

Tim ended up flat on his back, with Martin’s palms pressed flat against his chest and his legs straddling his waist.

“Ninjaed again.” Martin’s smile was wild and sharp, and only a little uncertain around the edges. “If you’ve been planning on telling me to knock it off, now would be a good time to let me know.”

Tim shook his head. “Get down here,” he demanded, and settled his hands firmly on Martin’s hips when Martin took him at his word, mouth pressing hot and wet and hungry against Tim’s.

Blood roared in Tim’s ears, mixing with the sound of the waves as he drowned in the intoxicating taste of Martin on his tongue. Martin’s hands shifted up, knocking Tim’s hat off as they buried themselves in his hair, twining tight. Tim gulped in deep breaths between kisses, his erection pressing insistently against the seam of his pants.

“Tease,” he accused hoarsely, his whole body on fire with wanting.

Martin chuckled, mouth drifting to lave at Tim’s earlobe as he draped himself across Tim’s front, hitching his hips until the heat of his cock lined up with Tim’s. They both groaned when Tim ground up instinctively, pressing them together in all the best ways.

“Martin,” Tim breathed, his hands cupping the swell of Martin’s ass as Martin pressed even closer, breath gusting hotly against Tim’s damp ear. Tim squeezed, pulling Martin down into the pulse of his hips, and Martin’s breath escaped in a rush.

“Hey,” Martin protested, grinning distractedly. “That’s cheating.”

Tim grinned back. “Is it?” he asked, plucking Martin’s shirt free from his pants so he could slip two fingers into the tight space between Martin’s waistband and the soft skin of his lower back. “You sure?”

Martin growled at him. “Yes,” he ground out and suddenly he was on the move, tearing open Tim’s shirt and attacking revealed skin with tongue and teeth and fingertips while Tim sucked in great lungfuls of air and tried desperately to hold on to his composure.

It wasn’t long before Tim was writhing under Martin, hands clawing in the blanket and feeling the give of the soft sand underneath. Martin’s mouth stretched into a smile around Tim’s nipple, tongue lashing out in teasing flicks that couldn’t quite distract Tim from the clever fingers deftly navigating his belt buckle, sliding down the zipper on his jeans. Tim groaned aloud when Martin’s hands peeled back too-tight denim, exposing the straining fabric of his damp boxers to the chill ocean breeze.

Martin’s fingers hooked under the elastic band of his underwear. “Yeah?” he asked, husky and deep. Tim nodded frantically.

“God yes… Martin…”

“So eager.” Martin’s mocking tone was anything but unkind and Tim panted as Martin eased his boxers and jeans down his legs, leaving him in nothing but his open shirt under the beaming sun.

“Won’t have to worry about tan lines,” Martin quipped, mouth busy following the progression of his hands down to the juncture of Tim’s thighs. He licked a stripe up Tim’s cock, grinning at the way hard flesh jumped in response. “Hope you don’t burn easily.”

“Not-” particularly, Tim was going to say, but the sudden press of Martin’s finger, unexpectedly slick, between his cheeks, cut the word off before he could manage it. Tim inhaled sharply, head tossing on the blanket.

“Okay?” Martin asked, brow furrowed in concentration as his finger probed carefully at the tight ring of muscle.

“It’s – okay,” Tim managed, fighting not to squirm at the sudden feeling of fullness, the heat in Martin’s eyes as he watched Tim take it. He canted his hips upwards and the angle changed, turning smoother, better. “Feels good.”

Martin’s smile was a devious thing. “How about this then?”

Hot lips slid down Tim’s cock and Tim swore, fighting for breath as the incredible wet warmth of Martin’s mouth enveloped him. His hips hitched up without asking him about it first and Martin took him deeper, another finger sliding in to join the first. After an eternity, Martin finally added a third and Tim keened as the stretch melted into a slow burn that didn’t hurt so much as make everything more intense, almost too much.

“M-martin,” Tim gasped out, hands leaving off tearing holes in the blanket to thread carefully through the uneven fall of Martin’s bangs. “Do it. Now.” Green eyes blinked up at him, Martin’s lips slick and round around Tim’s cock, and Tim was hard pressed not to lose it right there. His head thunked back to the blanket as he willed himself to breath. “Fuck me.”

Martin shuddered, his groan rippling down Tim’s length and making him twitch. Tim let his fingers slide free of dark hair as Martin eased off, tilting his chin to watch as Martin shoved down his own pants and briefs, his cock springing out thick and eager, precome oozing at the tip.

“Here,” Tim offered, stretching out a hand when Martin reached for the tube Tim hadn’t noticed among the folds of the blanket. “Let me.” Martin crawled up close enough to squeeze some slick onto Tim’s fingers and then Martin was the one shuddering as Tim wrapped a hand around his cock and did his level best to make Martin moan. It was a challenge he quite enjoyed.

“Enough,” Martin groaned out finally, batting Tim’s hand away and shifting into place. His hands closed on Tim’s hips, pulling him forward until the head of Martin’s cock was nudging against Tim’s asshole, and then he paused, meeting Tim’s eyes as he glanced up.

“Ready?” he asked and Tim had barely finished nodding before Martin was pushing forward, cock sinking inch by heavy inch into him. Tim’s breath whistled sharply through his teeth and he turned his head into his shoulder to muffle the sounds that kept threatening to escape him at the feel of Martin so hot and deep inside him.

“God,” Martin breathed as he seated himself fully. “You feel so good.”

“Thanks?” Tim answered and grinned, breathless, when that made Martin laugh.

“You’re crazy,” Martin said admiringly, drawing back slowly enough to make Tim whine low in his throat, impatient and needy.

“This coming from the – ngh!” Tim arched into Martin’s thrust, hooking his heels around the backs of Martin’s thighs. “The guy who plays ninja on saaahh -set all the time.”

“Hey,” Martin protested, hands tightening on Tim’s hips hard enough to leave bruises. “It’s not playing. I – fuck, yes – always catch you, don’t I?” His hips snapped sharply forward, driving his cock in deep enough to hit Tim’s prostate.

A rather undignified, “nghgod do that again” escaped Tim’s mouth in lieu of an actual response but Martin didn’t seem to mind, just wrapped one hand around Tim’s cock and set about driving him half out of his mind with pleasure. Tim’s arms found their way around Martin’s shoulders and he hung on tight, sparks exploding behind his eyes every time Martin’s cock stroked past that particular spot inside him.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” Martin was swearing, hand flying rapidly over Tim’s cock and hips surging in nearly hard enough to lift Tim off the blanket. “So good Tim, please tell me you’re close, fuck.”

“G-go ahead.” Tim canted his hips, squeezing deliberately around Martin’s length. “Come for me.”

“Shit!” Martin’s rhythm went erratic, grinding in hard another half dozen times before he stiffened, hands clenching as his cock pulsed in Tim’s ass.

Tim groaned and the sound was swallowed up as Martin lunged forward for a kiss that was sloppy and desperate and perfect. Tim bit at Martin’s lips as the tension inside him shattered, his cock twitching as Martin milked his orgasm out of him with long, pulling strokes.

When they were both spent, Martin collapsed on top of him and they lay together for a long moment, chests heaving and skin sheened with sweat. Tim couldn’t remember being so content in a long time.

It was Martin who stirred first, shifting until he was plastered against Tim’s chest. Tim hissed reflexively as Martin’s soft cock slipped free, feeling his muscles protest.

“All right?” Martin asked and Tim hummed something wordless, giving in to the temptation to draw Martin in close, hands fisting comfortably in the back of the shirt Martin still wore.

Martin chuckled. “Good.” They lay there for several long minutes, Martin nuzzling absently at Tim’s neck as their heartbeats slowed and the heat of the day slowly began to intrude on their lassitude.

Eventually Tim sighed. “We should go,” he murmured, tilting his head to plant a kiss on Martin’s lips. “Don’t want anyone to come looking for us like this.”

“Probably not,” Martin agreed amiably enough. He propped himself up on one elbow, grinning in a way that made Tim immediately nervous. “So,” he said. “Have you got a date for the wrap-up party yet?”

The final week of filming all but flew by, and Tim couldn’t help but feel a little sad as the director called for a round of applause after they finished shooting the last scene. Which made Beth roll her eyes, but Steve told him that he’d miss it too, so Tim figured he wasn’t that much of a weirdo just yet.

The wrap-up party was an affair and a half, and Tim was entirely unsurprised by the number of people who weren’t surprised that he showed up with Martin. The fact that a good number of them actually knew his name was rather more startling, though he blamed that on Martin too. Martin just grinned at him.

He got his promised beer from Bill, along with a hearty clap on the back and a far too loud declaration of Bill’s approval for the way Tim had kept Martin ‘busy’ all shoot. Martin had nearly busted a gut laughing at that, while Tim had settled for not blushing too noticeably.

Tim was busy sucking Martin off in the bathroom when they did the formal thank you speeches, but they both got back in enough time to join most of the crew as they migrated to a pub down the street to continue the festivities. Tim had several more drinks and passed a companionable evening with the other crew members, half of his attention on avoiding Martin’s attempts to drag him up to dance to the tinny cacophony of noise pouring out of the speakers.

It had gone well beyond late by the time Tim decided he’d had enough. Finishing the last few swallows of his drink, he bid farewell to his fellow techs and wound his way through the crowd towards the last place he’d seen Martin, only slightly unsteady on his feet. He was looking forward to sleeping in in the morning.

“Okay!” Martin said over the din when Tim found him. “Gotta take a piss first though!”

Tim nodded. “I’ll wait outside for the cab!” he called back, making his shuffling way to the door.

He walked directly into a wall of humidity as he stepped outside, the evening air warm and sticky with the heat of summer. Tim breathed it in anyway, glad for the respite after the packed bar. He waved goodbye to a few of the crew members who were making their own, rather inebriated way down the street, then slumped one shoulder against the heavy brick wall, watching for the taxi.

He’d been there for several minutes when somebody loomed up behind him, pressing in close, and it took Tim a befuddled second too long to realize that Martin wasn’t nearly that tall.

The first blow caught him on the shoulder as he whirled, the second driving at his stomach with bruising force. Tim staggered, hands raised instinctively. He got the vaguest impression of a guy in a black cap before a hand fisted in the front of his shirt, yanking him nearly off his feet.

“Make a sound and you’re dead,” his attacker growled, free hand groping around for Tim’s wallet. Tim blinked, trying to force his muddled thoughts into order.

Then the door to the pub creaked open and a familiar face flashed in the dim.

“Tim? Where are y-… what the fuck do you think you’re doing, asshole?” The door banged shut as Martin stepped out onto the sidewalk instead of going back in for backup and Tim wondered if he ought to start worrying.

The fact that Martin was wearing his stuntman face suggested probably yes. Tim stifled a groan.

Not that Martin noticed. “Put him the fuck down before I bash your fucking head in,” he ordered, sounding well beyond pissed.

The guy sneered. “Yeah? You and what army, pretty boy?”

Martin shifted, ready to spring, but caught himself short when a sleek black pistol appeared in the guy’s free hand. “Now,” the mugger said, training the gun on Martin. “Why don’t you hand over all your cash like a good boy before I give you and your friend here,” a shake of Tim’s shirt for emphasis, “some new breathing holes.”

“Fucker,” Martin spat. His stance widened, eyes trained on the gun, and Tim felt a stab of real panic as he realized that Martin was going to rush the guy.

Tim’s attacker obviously realized it too. “You really wanna try me?” the guy demanded, thumbing back the hammer. “I’ll blow a hole right through yo- fuck!”

Blood filled Tim’s mouth but he didn’t let go, finger bones creaking warningly under his teeth as hit bit down hard. The grip on his shirt loosened and he twisted sharply free, body acting on instinct and adrenaline as he surged up under the guy’s pathetic excuse for a guard and drove an elbow into an unprotected gut. The guy flailed, reacting too late, and Tim easily turned aside the belated sweep of the man’s arm, snapping the heel of his palm up into the guy’s chin and sweeping his leg out to knock his feet right out from under him, sending him flying.

His attacker hit the ground hard a good foot away, gun clattering to the sidewalk, and Tim hovered for a few seconds, fists at the ready. He let out a steadying breath once it became clear that the guy was out for the count and slowly relaxed his guard. Then he looked up.

Martin was staring at him like he’d grown a second head. “What the hell was that?” he demanded.

“Jujutsu.” Tim gave his arm an experimental shake. Sore, but not too bad. “And a little bit of gymnastics. I take lessons.”

“So I see.” Martin’s voice was suspiciously even. “Looks like you’re pretty good.”

Tim shrugged helplessly. “I guess so.”

“Always so modest. But that means that if I did this-” Martin lashed out serpent quick and Tim let his body dodge the way it wanted to, twisting past Martin’s arm and catching his own flattened palm against Martin’s elbow when he tried to follow up, leaning on the joint with warning pressure.

“Shit,” Martin said, something admiring in his tone. “You bastard, no wonder you never jumped. You always knew I was there didn’t you? You let me catch you.”

Martin was only just realizing this now? “Yeah.”

Martin’s eyes narrowed. “Why?” he demanded.

Tim shrugged. “Didn’t seem like a good idea to piss off a ninja.” He smiled, uncertain. “Right?”

And that made Martin chuckle openly, curling a hand around Tim’s extended wrist and yanking them close. “Damn straight,” he agreed, breath warm and damp and smelling faintly of rum. He gave Tim a look. “But now that I know, I’m not going to be happy letting you pretend anymore. Next time it’s your turn to go ninja.” His smile arched. “Keep us both on our toes.”

Tim nodded. “Okay.”

Martin laughed again so Tim closed the distance between them, grinning into the kiss as he felt Martin’s lips curving to fit.

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